HTML5 Video. Who needs Flash?

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Nobody it seems, at least not for video. Almost unbelievably in the space of a year, Flash the once ubiquitous format for all web-based video, has become surplus to requirements. Shunned by Microsoft in favour of Silverlight and by other browsers in favour of HTML5. Significantly, now that Opera has joined the ranks of HTML5 video supporting browsers none of the top 5 browsers now require the Flash plugin to play video.

It seems this fact has not been lost on the web development community, with a slew of demos and plugins being released over the last few weeks. One of the first to cause a stir was the excellent SublimeVideo player. Not to be outdone the Ambilight player shows what can be achieved when you integrate HTML5 video with canvas. Video affecting other parts of a web-page, who knew that was even possible?

There’s also been some progress on fallbacks for non supporting browsers. Earlier this week Dave Hall released a ‘patch’ for those browsers that don’t support video natively. This was shortly followed by the release a jQueryless modification by Remy Sharp. This is great news as it means that we can use the <video> tag right now!

But they kept coming. Mario Fischer making an excellent post on how to use HTML5 video with Mootools.

Hot on his heels Michael Dale came out with a HTML5 Video plugin for jQuery. Something close to our hearts here at Happyworm, having made something similar for <audio>.

They say a week is a long time in politics, but this seems doubly true of HTML5 right now. Things are moving apace and they are moving towards a richer web, increasingly less reliant on third-party plugins.

Exciting times indeed.

Mark B


HTML5Patch Articles
HTML5 The Revolution will not be Televised

Friday, March 5th, 2010 Audio, HTML5, Uncategorized

8 Comments to HTML5 Video. Who needs Flash?

  • Fred says:

    Less dependent on 3rd party plug-ins == more dependent on the whims of people who make browsers.

    Why one is better than another is beyond me. I don’t somehow see that Google or Apple or Microsoft are in the browser business for the good of the world. They’re in it because they see commercial advantage in it and whoever dominates will use it to their commercial advantage.

    So…in the end maybe we’ll regret this “oh let’s get rid of Flash” movement as it’s not likely to end up in the web-utopia that some folks seem to think it leads to. If Google wins then every video on the internet will be chock full of advertisements. Super.

  • John Dowdell says:

    I think some of the hyperbole shown this week, for various proprietary HTML browsers, may be of historic dimensions…. ;-)


  • MarkB says:

    @Fred – Well you can always use a plugin if you prefer.

    I think it’s in everyone’s interest to have a number of competing browsers out there. Competition and choice is good for the end user. Monopolies are not. While the current diversity exists I don’t believe that Google, Apple or Microsoft are going to build advertising into their browsers.

    Another advantage to video (and audio) functionality being part of HTML5 and so the modern browser’s native capability, is that a developer can control those aspects as they would any other part of the DOM.

    @John It’s a long time since we’ve seen something as potentially game changing as HTML5. We are seeing very real interest from developers. Come on join the party ;)

  • Ryan says:

    There was big debate about support for images back before they became standard and we’re just going through the same thing now. In a few years time we’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about.

  • Ryan says:

    — “Competition and choice is good for the end user. Monopolies are not.”

    Yep, Adobe’s current position in the creative software business demonstrates how vitally important competition is. I would give up Photoshop right away if there was a viable alternative.

  • I really hate using Flash and visiting Flash Websites.. It makes my browser freezed.. I wonder why people, i mean Web designers not other creative designers like for presentaion making like stuff still want to use FLASH for websites when we have great great HTML5 !!!! i guess those guys must not aware of whats goin on current web world.. Dude HTML5 is awesome it can play Videos Sounds whateva its all in HTML format.. So i really support Steve Jobs decision coz am a Front-End Developer.. Plz open your eyes and lets get rid of FLASH for web development.. FLASH IS GREAT PRODUCT FOR PRESENTATION WHICH WE WANT TO TRANSFER FROM PC TO PC THRU CD OR SOMETHING BUT ITS NOT A PRODUCT FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT… !!!!

  • Since we published Open Images Platform it features a html5 jQuery based media player called OIPlayer. It plays video and audio has a fall back mechanism using a Java applet or Flash or for older browsers.

    –Cheers, André

  • Alexandru Vornicescu says:

    I think that using both is the best choice.